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Lidl to remove mandatory retirement age of 65 for its employees

The company said this will allow it to “attract more mature and life-experienced talent”.

Image: Shutterstock/Manuel Esteban

LIDL WILL REMOVE its mandatory retirement age of 65 for current and future employees to “support those who would like to choose to continue working”. 

In a statement, Lidl said it is the first company in Ireland to make this official decision to allow workers the option to continue in their jobs past retirement. The State pension age is 66. 

Employees who decide to continue working can opt to extend their company pension plan. Lidl said it will offer workshops for workers to show a “holistic approach” to retirement planning and encourage people to “think seriously” about all aspects of their retirement.

Lidl said this also allows the company to “attract more mature and life-experienced talent as well as offering more flexibility to current employees”. 

The measure will take effect in the coming weeks. 

Maeve McCleane, chief people officer at Lidl Ireland and Northern Ireland, said the company wants to support people who want to continue working over the age of 65. 

Speaking to RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland, she said it has recently been challenging ”right across retail and many other industries ” to recruit staff. 

This retirement age decision was made partly because “the trend is that people are staying with us for longer”. 

The Taoiseach Michaeál Martin recently confirmed that the State pension age will remain the same at 66 but people will be able to defer their pension until they are 70 under plans currently being finalised. 

Speaking last month, the Taoiseach said there was “broad agreement” in Cabinet for the new proposals which will remove a “rigid, mandatory cut-off point” for retirement. 

Recommendations from the Pension Commission report published last October said that the State pension age should rise by three months each year from 2028, until it hits 67 in 2031.

Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on employment Louise O’Reilly had labelled the government proposals a “u-turn”, saying it doesn’t go far enough.

She called on government to “go further and give workers the right to retire at 65”.

Micheál Martin told reporters last month that “this idea of retiring at 66 has to go”.

But O’Reilly said these comments “appear out of touch and require clarity”.

She added: “People who have had a lifetime working on their feet, or doing hard labour on construction sites, simply cannot be expected to continue working beyond the pension age.”

Age Action welcomed the government plans to allow “flexible access to the State pension” but called for “extensive stakeholder engagement” on the new proposals.

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